Buzzketball Pulls One Out in OT against Boston College, 85-80

The Hokies did everything they could to give away the game in the closing minutes, but a strong performance in overtime sealed the victory.

[Mark Umansky]

*Clang*

*Thud*

*Ding*

The Virginia Tech men's basketball team traveled to Chestnut Hill to play Boston College late Wednesday night, and things didn't start the way Buzz Williams and company intended.

The normally hot-shooting Hokies (20th in the country in three-point percentage) started things off with a barrage of bricks. Tech missed 14 of their first 17 shots from deep in a clunky first half that looked to be played in front of roughly 90 people.

But after they shook off the malaise, William's team found success on both sides of the ball in a nice second half that should have lead to a comfortable victory. But unfortunately for Buzz, it didn't end the way he intended either.

With 1:42 left in the game, senior Justin Bibbs hit a dagger triple to put Tech up seven. BC's Ky Bowman then missed a layup, which sent Chris Clarke sprinting towards the other end looking for an exclamation point with 62 seconds to go. And in a way, he really did end regulation with some excitement:

Oh yeah. That's five straight free throws attempted and sunk by Eagles guard Jerome Robinson, who was fouled shooting a three and then awarded two more after a technical foul on Clarke. It's basically a clinic on how to throw a cozy seven point cushion into a wood chipper.

The game went into overtime, and after a few brief minutes of walking around like a punch drunk boxer in the moments after taking a right hook to the eye socket, the Hokies took control again. They had been the better team all night, and it played out in the final score.

Tech 85, BC 80.

It's one of those nightmarish games on the road where a victory, however it may come, is great. But no one will ever want to talk about it again. Which is a shame, because outside of Clarke's brief descent into insanity, Tech did some really nice things.

But first thing's first: don't complain about the technical. Well, scratch that. You can complain all you want, but just know that however anyone may feel about Ted Valentine or the conspicuous timing of the call, it's completely on Clarke.

He's an upperclassman, a leader, and an all-around important member of the squad, and he needed to recognize the situation in the moment. It doesn't matter if he thought he got hacked going to the hoop (he probably did), complaining in any way won't help secure a win. And it especially won't secure a win when the jawing comes at the cost of running back on defense, which was the reason Robinson was fouled shooting a three in the first place.

But Clarke being glued to the bench during the extra period meant extended big boy minutes for Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who responded beautifully. The freshman scored on a fast break early on, and splashed a Sam Cassell-ian three with things tied at 78.

Justin Robinson's shooting was off (3-12 from the field, 1-7 from deep, I'm starting to worry if he's losing his legs a bit from the heavy workload), but he was essential everywhere else. He ran the offense with precision and found open shooters, and though he finished with 12 assists, he could have had closer to 20 due to the poor shooting early on.

Bibbs and Kerry Blackshear both played their parts. The former hitting a series of crucial shots when they needed him most, and the latter leading the way with a quiet 20 point, eight rebound outing.

The Hokies are back to over .500 in conference and ended up going 6-4 in January—something most of us would have taken after that Syracuse debacle on New Year's Eve. Up next? Miami, a tough test full of talented players who (for whatever it's worth) Joe Lunardi has as a 6-seed in his current bracket.

It's a brutal road ahead. But as long as the Hokies don't make it a habit to hand out five free points every night, things should get very interesting.

A few quick thoughts

BC was really smart to come out in a trap defense early in the game. Robinson and Blackshear had a lot of success with the high pick-and-roll coming into Chestnut Hill, and the Eagles wanted to do something to disrupt it. And it worked for quite a while at the start of the first half (and not quite as well at the start of the second), as Tech tried to get used to it.

But in what can only be seen as a positive, the trap was handled and then played right into Buzz's hands. Hokie shooters feast on corner threes, and once the team began to pass around the zone they started to find Ahmed Hill and Bibbs wide open in the corner. It took awhile for the shots to fall (I blame the crypt-like environment), but once they did the Eagles didn't have a chance.

It's funny to think about it, but at almost this exact time last year Tech beat BC to improve to 5-4 in the ACC. They're in the same position as they were when they made the NCAA Tournament, yet most people don't feel as good about this squad's chances.

To me, the path to March Madness is simple: beat NC State at home next Wednesday, beat Georgia Tech on the road on the 17th. And then win two home games among the remaining group of Miami/Clemson/Louisville/Duke. A tough task, but very doable.

Finally, we're currently filing a missing persons report for a certain assistant coach's facial hair. If you see it, email joey.coogan@thekeyplay.edu.

Comments

To me, the path to March Madness is simple: beat NC State at home next Wednesday, beat Georgia Tech on the road on the 17th. And then win two home games among the remaining group of Miami/Clemson/Louisville/Duke. A tough task, but very doable.

If I do math right, this would have the Hokies end the season at "plus-one" which Buzz has said all season is what any ACC team needs to do to get into the tournament.

Home loss to UVA -1
Road win at Wake 0
Home loss to FSU -1
Road win at ND 0
Road win at BC +1

If we win at GT that's another +1, but losing 2/4 remaining home games would be -2. So I think that would come out to 0 in Buzzketology.

That might get us in but I'd feel a lot better if we get to 10 ACC wins. At that point I doubt it matters how you slice them. Home vs NC State and at GT certainly seem like the two easiest.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I believe you get a zero for every road loss or home win, +1 for a Road win, and-1 for a Home loss... right?

Correct. My count was ignoring the 0s and keeping the cumulative total. I should have just said 2 home losses + 3 road wins currently has us at +1. Regardless the scenario described in the write up puts us at 0.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

So I don't do math right. Sounds about right.

I checked out the Sagarin ratings and he explains how to get an expected result for future games. Here's what I came up with:

vs Miami = Hokies by 3
vs NC State = Hokies by 8
at UVA = UVA by 12
at Duke = Duke by 12
at GT = Hokies by 3
vs Clemson = Hokies by 4
vs Louisville = Hokies by 2
vs Duke = Duke by 4
at Miami = Miami by 4

If these hold true, we'd end up 10 - 8 in ACC play with 3 additional top 50 wins (Miami, Clemson, Louisville). Do you guys think we'd be a tourney lock with that record?

First Buzz then Coach Fu - In Whit We Trust

I'm no Joe Lunardi and honestly haven't kept up with all the conferences and bubble teams but my gut feeling is to feel very good about our chances at that point if we were able to add a win in the ACC tournament and barring crazy results and stolen bids in conference tourneys

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Yes, I think that would do as long as we won our first round ACC tourney game and played the second one close.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

10-8 in ACC with 4 top 50 wins is a lock. Even if SG was still our head man

Regarding the CC situation, it appears he knew right away he screwed up. Buzz addressed in the post game that he handled it well.

Moments like that are where Buzz is at his best. Most coaches would have been losing their mind at the player in that situation. Buzz explained to him what he did wrong and used it as a teaching moment to make sure it doesn't happen again, but in a calm way.

It's quite simple actually, I'm sure Buzz realized that if he started yelling and screaming at CC, it could've been a potential lingering confidence killer. But he realizes that while CC absolutely cannot make that mistake with that amount of time left in the game, it's more important that CC doesn't let the whole situation linger. He, like the rest of us, know how important CC is to the team.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

I didn't see it on camera, does anyone know what Clarke did to earn the T?

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

He lost his cool after a foul call and said something about it to the absolute worst ref in America to do that to

Clarke got totally mauled as he drove the lane and lost the ball. BC's Robinson took the ball the other way. Instead of sprinting back on D, Clarke complained to Teddy Valentine about the non-call. Meanwhile Bibbs fouled Robinson from behind while he attempted a 3 pointer. It's bad enough to waste time complaining about a non-call during a fast break, but complaining to Ted Valentine is next level bad idea. He has a hair trigger for T's and generally seems to automatically be primed to T someone up when he makes a bad call or non-call. BC's coach got hit with one earlier in the game.

Around that time, late in the game, the game, BC's other guard, Chatman? got away with shoving Robinson to the ground under the basket on a rebound. Literally shoved him under to the ground on the baseline under the hoop, collected the rebound and lead a fast break. Refs were terrible in the final few minutes calling VT for a mix of legit and ticky-tack fouls while letting BC get away with murder.

Yeah, I saw the whole game, just not what Clarke did, I assumed it was getting mouthy with Valentine, otherwise the commentators would have likely said something about it

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

got away with shoving Robinson to the ground under the basket on a rebound. Literally shoved him under to the ground on the baseline under the hoop, collected the rebound and lead a fast break/blockquote>

Yeah, That shove looked like it was someone playing defense in NBA Jam

That shove on Robinson really pissed me off.

FAM!

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

That is 3 in a row where we looked like the better team. We were close to blowing all 3 out, and combined that with the balls to win in a close finish on the road games. IF we can continue to improve we should go dancing. Still a big if, but getting smaller each game, not just with the win, but in how we play to get it.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Agree that we loked like the better team in all 3. Its great the that we closed them all out with a W, but need to figure out a better way to stretch the clock the last 8 minutes without allowing teams to get back in it.

Under 8 minutes, it was clear we were trying to slow down the offense to stretch the clock but seemed to disrupt their flow and led to a scoring lull. Hopefully Buzz can tweak how he can stretch the clock without stalling out his half court sets. Go tech - always fun to be relevant going into February.

LOVE the thread header. LIT!

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

You can't help but love Chris Clarke's effort and energy but his ball-handling is so laxidasical it drives me crazy.

It seems like he is still getting used to his own athleticism a lot of the time.

Remind me of Lt. Dan sometimes. As does KJ when he is sprinting.

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente

Just watched the pass to wide open KJ under the basket, when he fakes and then does a lay up. On that play he almost got blocked by the shorter player coming in from the side. Why does he seldom dunk the ball? If he just turns and stuffs the ball, nobody can stop him.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

Footwork. He doesn't keep his balance well when people body him and he rarely has a clear path to the lane.

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente

It was the best of Clarke, it was the worst of Clarke....

beat NC State at home next Wednesday, beat Georgia Tech on the road on the 17th. And then win two home games among the remaining group of Miami/Clemson/Louisville/Duke. A tough task, but very doable.

Call me crazy, but I got higher hopes than that. I'm thinking seed, not just getting in.

You eat what you kill. Run to the roar.

Saw UNC pegged as a 4 seed in the some projections during the Louisville/UVA game with the Hokies being first four out.

That was a bit of head scratcher given their last 3 games. They are lucky to get Pitt at home to stop the skid. Looking for Cam Johnson to have a huge game and wag his middle finger in Kevin Stalling's face.

UNC has like 9 or 10 top 100 RPI wins and is currently in the top 10 in RPI and Massey. Sure it looks like they're on the decline, but when you're in the top 10-15 of every major computer ranking, you probably deserve a 3/4 seed.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

I think we can/ should win our remaining home games, with the exception of Duke, and we should win @ GiT. I'm hoping between the 2 with Duke, @ LOLuva, @ Miami we can get 1 or more.

Wishful thinking, maybe.

I expect us to get some wins but don't feel like anything is a given with the remaining schedule. Yes NC State seems like a should win but we are 1-7 in our last 8 against them and Engin Atsur is still liable to make an appearance in my nightmares. GT is 3-2 at home in conference with losses to Clemson and UVA and wins over Miami, Syracuse, and ND so don't expect them to roll over. Out of the remaining games we might be favored in one (home against Miami). Honestly I wouldn't be surprised with anything in the 2-5 win range to close the season.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I think you're view is way more realistic and mine is more of a fan view point. After watching the end of the GT Syracuse game at the gym the other night, GT is super beatable, and if Syracuse has anyone that could score, they would have won easily. On the flip, I saw VT look like hot garbage against Syracuse and LOLuva (but UVA can make s lot of teams look like that).

I'm glad that we're a team that can overcome mistakes and errors and still pick up an ACC road win. Tech doesn't have to be perfect to beat teams like BC anymore (at the expense of my blood pressure)

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

You know the solution to that. Drink.

Yea, this is me the last 2 games in the 2nd half:

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Current RPI for our Remaining Schedule:

Miami: 17
NC State: 64
@ UVa: 1
@ Duke: 4
@ GT: 141
Clemson: 5
Louisville: 20
Duke: 4
@ Miami: 17

NC State at home and @ GT are definitely must-wins. Go 2-0 in those and split home/home with Miami, and I think we can afford to go 1-4 in the rest because a win in only one of those would give us another signature win that we need because UNC is absolutely ruining it for us right now. Then we'll probably need one W in the ACC Tourney depending on how the seeds shake out.

I have nothing to base this off of, but I also think Buzz has curried enough favor with the committee over his career that, at the end of the day, he'll get us the benefit of the doubt over a lot of other bubble teams.

I like that we go at Duke then get them at home. I think our guys will take a loss at Duke, but learn enough that when they come back to the Cassell for that second game they will be mentally chomping at the bit for it and the home crowd will provide the rest for another signature W.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

That would be the dream scenario. Especially as the second to last game of the reg season, it would be great to have a win like that fresh on the committee's mind

Dream scenario is to go to Cameron and silence that motherfucker by going up by 30 at halftime, and then winning by 50. Then... come back to Blacksburg and stomp them again. Oh, and beat the snot out of UVa in Charlottesville for their first conference loss, causing them so much psychological damage they then spiral into a losing streak that goes on throughout the rest of the year.

Don't be afraid to dream big, little fella.

Leonard. Duh.

You obviously don't remember the last time that happened and we were on the bubble...

or maybe I can't smell the sarcasm here.

Touche, no sarcasm, but not quite the same scenario. Assuming you mean 2011, we surrounded that win over #1 Duke with losses to a bad UVa team, a below-average BC team at home (who also swept us that year), and a loss to Clemson who was on the bubble with us if I remember correctly. Then got crushed by Duke on a neutral court to end our ACC Tourney run. We also didn't have any other ranked Ws that season.

Also, I'm going to keep saying that I think the committee will give more credit to a Buzz Williams team than they gave to SG

If we win 4 of the games, regardless of who they are, we should be in.

Always choose joy.

The way these games are falling, it's not that crazy to discuss the possibility of the Hokies finishing in the top four of the regular season standings.

(Maybe still a little crazy, but not THAT crazy.)

Leonard. Duh.

I was just thinking about the same thing. We win the next 2 and we're at least 5th in the standings. Knock out UVA they go on a down spin and we win the regular season while ending up as a 2 seed in the tournament!

I thought before the season that there was a clear top 4 in Duke/UNC/L'ville/Miami and VT/UVA/FSU were fighting for that next tier.

Now it looks like that top tier is only Duke/UVA and the Miami/L'ville/FSU/VT/NCSU/Clemson/SU are fighting it out in tier 2. Maybe Clemson and L'villle are the head of that 2nd group, but we get both at home.

I am not sure I am ready to look past 1-0.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Great that we pulled it out in Overtime but ridiculous that they shot 16 of their 25 free throw attempts from the 2:08 remaining in the game and OT.

37 minutes = 9 attempts
7 minutes = 16 attempts

Hmmmm, stat of the game????

foresthokie
US Navy Vet

I'll chip in here about the refs.

They miss calls, and they make bad calls. We as fans of a certain team, will scrutinize every call made or not made against a certain team, because that is where our interest lies. If we were BC fans, we'd have thought the T on their coach was bullshit (which it kind of was...)

They did blow it at the end of the game. Chris Clarke was fouled, the three point shot foul would've been fine as a no call, and Justin Robinson was fouled right at the very end of reg. But, going back and watching, they could've called 3 seconds on Kerry Blackshear several times, there were several no-calls that could've been called when BC drove to the basket, and our boys travel a bit which is called just sometimes.

It all comes out in the wash. But as fans, we don't see it that way, cause we don't give a flip about calls against BC. It's part of being a fan, and at the end of the day, just keep being a fan, and keep bitching.

Leonard. Duh.

Being emotionally and financially vested in the program is difficult when the luck of poor/inconsistent officiating determines the outcome of many close games. Having it come out in the wash sucks, I might as well watch the coaches flip a coin.

I do not think the officials are biased against VT (in a majority of games) but I do think they make horrific errors in most games.

I wonder if a 4th official would help; then I remember that it is almost impossible to get 3 competent officials for a game right now. Imagine how bad the officials must be in the lower levels of college basketball; we are seeing the best.

My theory is that the play in college basketball is bad, which puts the refs in a bad spot. If they call everything the game sucks. So they live in the grey area which leaves room for bitching from either side. The team you are pulling for will always feel like the team getting the shaft.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

I don't feel like VT always gets the shaft.

I do think refs are very inconsistent.

It used to be thought, if you got 10 ACC wins - you were in. We broke that mold twice when they kept us out with 10 wins in 2009 and 2015. We need to beat Duke once or another top 25 team to get another signature win to have a chance, plus also win 10 games.

Us losing that first game in 2015 to Alabama A&M didnt help either

Yep, bad wins are just as important for perception. Our loss to SLU this year could be a crutch.

It is absolutely incredible that a 13-9 marquette team is "ranked" ahead of VT in the latest Bracketology. I know our SOS OOC is weak, but i feel like we are getting incredibly shafted in terms of perception vs comparable teams. Heck, even Miami gets a 6 seed when their record isn't that much more impressive.

The comment above you nails it. We lost to a very bad Saint Louis team.

Additionally, our out-of-conference SoS is bad.

St Louis is bad this year, but we shouldn't be comparing that loss to Alabama A&M in 2015. They were bottom 50 RPI. St Louis is at 139 right now.

Y'know, I just don't understand why one stinkin' loss, early in the season, can trump a solid effort season long. It just seems stupid to me. Every team is beatable, and every team has bad games. Sure, if we lost two or three times to really bad teams, I can see it being a resume killer, but one little stinkin' loss early on means we aren't worthy of the tournament unless we overachieve and beat a giant like Duke or, and it pains me to say this, loluva?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

This year is going to be one of the toughest in a long time to determine who's really worthy of dancing. You've got a team like Xavier in the top 10, but they're carrying a loss to a fairly mediocre Providence team. Same with Arizona, who's got a loss to a middling SMU team.

Lots of parity in college basketball this year.

The one bad loss isn't acting as an anchor so much as the bad SOS. In terms of our OOC schedule we basically put all of our chips in needing a straight flush and when you lose one of those games you basically only draw the straight. We might still win, but it will be a lot more difficult.

If we had finished off the game at UK and not been killed by UVa, it wouldn't be so dicey, but when you couple all of those things AND a bad loss to STL, the team doesn't give the selection committee too many warm and fuzzies.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

I really hate to be this guy but we all remember how we felt after the FSU game but a three game win streak can make us forget a lot. Let's keep in mind that the three teams we beat are on a combined 0-10 streak (UNC 0-3, ND 0-4, BC 0-3) and at .500 or below in the league and we may have shown some grit in those wins but they were not convincing and without flaws. Yes, this encouraging and exciting, but the remaining games are mostly against the current top half (above us currently with the exception of NCSU). I still think we get to 9 wins but we will need to show more than we have the last 5 games to do it.

Agree! I haven't looked at everyone's remaining schedules, but have to believe our remaining schedule is likely the toughest of any ACC team. Miami twice, Duke twice, @UVA, Clemson, UL, NCst, @GT. Crazy hard! The way things are going right now, if we finish at .500 in ACC and win one tourney game, then I think we're in.

The good thing is, we are finding our groove and learning how to win, and each win is requiring a little something different. The first 6 ACC games were rough, and we were not playing good Buzzketball. I think we've turned a corner, and we need to have two solid home games against Miami and NCST to go into a tough road stretch with some serious confidence!

When we've had a sizable lead, Buzz has slowed it down. It makes me nervious, but J-Rob has done a good job of managing the O in those situations and we've created good looks towards the end of the clock even if we've missed. Against BC, Buzz brought in Bede with like 6.5 minutes to go. Glad to see Buzz trusts him with a 10-12 point lead on the road. But Bede struggled. Fouled twice with 1 TO I think. J-Rob had to come back in before the under-4 timeout. I think Buzz was hoping Bede could provide some robust defense and manage the O well enough to get to the under-4 and then bring J-Rob back in. J-Rob has been playing some big minutes, and it is going to start to wear on him. Bede will have more opportunities, but you could see it on his face how disappointed he was. We'll be seeing more and more of Wilson in those type of game situations I believe.

--
"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips

I wouldn't overlook NC State either. Despite they're rankings, they're solid team in their first year under Kevin Keatts. They're in just about every game they've played and present some serious match up problems. I can easily see Yurtseven feasting on us, especially if Blackshear gets in foul trouble as he is prone to do at times. Counting wins right now is a mistake. The road to the Tournament might be passable, but it is still difficult.

Yurtseven is really just Yurtsixeleven but he lied about his height on his drivers license

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

They may be 0-10, but what is VTs record by comparison? 3-0? One thing is not like the other and only to our benefit.

___

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

So I guess we should have lost to them so that our competition would look better since they went 3-7 instead of 0-10?

end snark

This is the weakness of considering SOS, if you beat every team on your schedule, by default your opponent's combined record will have 25 extra losses on it. As long as our team worries about collecting the Ws, the selection committee and OP voters won't care about the records of our opponents.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

I never want our guys too loose and yes I know that had we lost to those same teams they would not be on a loosing streak. My point is that we've beat three teams that are struggling right now (yes any road win is a good win) and have a very demanding schedule left. All the team should do is focus on winning but my comments where for us here. I know it is natural for us to ride high on winning streaks and come down when we lose. The roller coaster ride that are the basketball threads is fun to watch and I thought I might ride but I'll not as high as everyone else. At least with football we have a week to celebrate the win, over analyse, and set some realistic expectations for the next game. In basketball, we have three days so the emotional settings are much greater.

Get used to taking that L this week, Boston

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Another 10 TO performance. I think that might be the magic number for Buzzketball to get the W.